Wed, 01/15/2020 - 9:42am
Ben Helmke grew up on a farm in Pratt County, Kansas in the 1930s. He served as an organist in the Army chaplain’s office at Camp Schimmelpfennig (now Camp Sendai) in Japan. Helmke graduated from Hastings College and McCormick Seminary and got his masters in social work from the University of Michigan. He and his wife Polly raised three children and he started his own mental health clinic. Late in life, he came out as gay to his wife and children. He lived happily with his partner Len Quenon for 25 years.
Ben Helmke was interviewed by students from Skyline High School in Ann Arbor in 2016 as part of the Legacies Project.
Ann Arbor News, April 15, 1969
Ann Arbor's New City Council At Work Ann Arbor's new City Council, with a Democratic majority, took office last night. Seated from left to right are James E. Stephenson, Fourth Ward; Roy A. Weber, Fourth Ward; LeRoy A. Cappaert, Fifth Ward; City Administrator Guy C. Larcom Jr.; Mayor Robert J. Harris; Richard D. Remington, First Ward; H. C. Curry, First Ward; Ernest L. Quenon, Second Ward; Robert G. Faber, Second Ward; Joseph W. Edwards, Third Ward, and Nicholas D. Kazarinoff, Third Ward. At the center table is City Clerk John P. Bentley and Stenographer Mrs. Sue Kosmalski. Fifth Ward Councilman Henry L. Stadler was absent. Last night's session was relatively brief -- the meeting was adjourned about 10:15.